Greening Your Beauty Routine

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In a previous post, I mentioned how you can replace disposable cotton rounds and cotton balls with reusable rounds. A few of you were interested to hear more about such a product.

going green eco friendly beauty

When I found out I was pregnant, I did a lot of research on healthy ways to rear a child. I learned so much about the chemicals used and waste created when having a baby it floored me. Karl and I felt we lived a relatively green and healthy lifestyle, but in those few months, we made major changes in how we cleaned our home and laundry. One big thing was getting rid of paper towels. Seriously, we still have the majority of the last roll we bought, which was in May of 2008 (we keep it to put on the dining table when folks dogsit in the chance there is a grody mess they need to clean, and yes it’s dusty and crinkly from age). So it was a given that we would cloth diaper our child.

And cloth diaper we did and had great success with it. Emerson’s newborn diaper stash was predominately purchased used, was loaned to two different friends and then sold – half to a sorority sister across the country, half to a blogging buddy. The remainder of her stash survived three years of heavy use and some was sold, the rest Freecycled to a crafty parent who could replace worn-out Velcro. But the greatest thing about cloth diapering was the cloth wipes.

Cloth wipes are two-ply squares of cloth, serged together. Some are cotton, some knit, some flannel, some velour, some terry. Cloth wipes are sold on most sites that sell cloth diapers, but you can also find great cloth wipes on sites that sell handmade products, like Etsy. Though Emerson is potty trained, we still use the same cloth wipes I purchased back when I was pregnant and use them for drippy noses, sticky fingers, and when I have slacked on laundry and am out of washcloths for her. Over four years of use, being thrown in the washer and line or dryer dried, the only wipes that have fallen apart are the fancy store brand ones I got as part of a baby shower gift. The rest, mainly via Etsy, are still holding strong.

I worked for The Body Shop in a past life, and even worked as an at-home sales consultant back when they had that business. Through them, I could get packets of cotton rounds mega cheap – I think I paid 50 cents per package. I have been using my leftover packets for all these years and well, this January I opened my last package and started thinking about what I would use in its place. We don’t buy paper napkins or paper towels, we sure as heck aren't going to buy disposable things to wipe my face each morning.

So I went to Etsy and typed in reusable cot… and it autofilled “Reusable Cotton Rounds” for me. Suddenly I saw dozens of shops, many who make cloth wipes for babies, who sold such things. Same size as popular cotton rounds, made of flannel or terry, serged around the edges to keep from fraying. Some even sold little mesh bags to keep them wrangled together in the washer and dryer.

I bought a pack of 30 rounds from Green Little Nest for just $13.00 and they arrived very quickly, tied with little adorable yarn bows. The prints are hysterical, they are likely made from remnants from baby-based crafts like cloth wipes, so I wipe witch hazel and Avene with peace signs, puppies, and cartoon flowers. I specifically chose these rounds because with my experience with cloth wipes, I find flannel to be the most durable yet soft and absorbent.  I chose not to get the mesh bag and instead have a standard mesh lingerie bag hanging from a hook in my bathroom. Use a wipe, drop it in the mesh bag, when I get down to only about 5 wipes, I zip up the bag and drop it in the hamper and wash them with whatever the next load of laundry may be. Since they are so small and I want them to be soft, I dry them in the dryer, leaving them in the lingerie bag. This makes it easy to take them back upstairs.

Right now, the reusable rounds are stored in a bowl, but I’ll be seeking out random containers this summer at yard sales and thrift stores to see if I can find something more creative. But so far, so good. They absorb, they don’t scratch, and they are just as durable as the cloth wipes we use, and like the cloth wipes I bet they will just soften and get better with time!

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  1. Awesome idea – I use a number of reusable personal products but never thought of this. I mainly use rounds or cotton wool for removing eye makeup and use a washcloth for the rest of my face. Some of my washcloths are getting a little frayed and worn/soft – I think I’ll try making some rounds out of these to try.

  2. Such a great idea, I’ll be sure to pick some of these up, I’ll be getting some for my daily makeup removal and eye makeup remover for the days I wear eyeliner!

  3. I love this idea! I don’t know why I never thought of it before as I used cloth nappies for both my children. On another note, have you come across for all things to do with make-up and skin care? She is totally awesome.

  4. I’m looking into investing in the snapable reusable “paper” towels (so they sit nicely on a roll :D) for my next place, but I never thought about reusable cotton rounds! What an amazing idea!!! I even have those empty candle jars sitting around to store them (as EvaNadine suggested in the comments) since I can’t bear to recycle them because I know I’d need them right after I did! I think I need to get a set of those rounds ASAP! WIshlisted!

  5. It’s great you pass this on! We used old, thin fleece swaddilng blankets, cut up, for diaper wipes. With an excess of them (and we even have another little ‘un), I’ve cut them into squares to use for this exact thing! Fleece is great b/c you don’t even need to sew the edges and the even dry softly when hung up.

  6. I *love* this idea! Why didn’t I ever consider the waste from those facial rounds? Thanks for making me think! (And this might be a good way for me to practice my sewing-machine skills…!)

  7. With Baby #2 we discovered cloth diapers and I wish we found them for our first child. They are so easy and ridiculously cheap. I was too cheap to buy the wipes so we invested in a bunch of wash cloths. They are great for messes and so handy! I keep different colors for baby vs kitchen vs my face. That way even though diapers are washed separately there is no chance of cross contamination, etc. We never use paper towels either and I have to keep paper napkins for parties only.
    Oddly enough…I worked at the Body Shop too, in college. I love this blog!

  8. What do you use when you remove nail polish? Would you suggest these for that as well? Or would you still stick to cotton balls/rounds for that?

  9. just an extra FYI, if you ever have large glass jar candles (such as those sold at Yankee Candle or Bath & Body works), when you get to the end of the candle, just pop it in the freezer for a day. You can then break out the extra wax + wash that baby right up. I have SO MANY of them that I use for bathroom storage — they are just the perfect size, and free, since we use the candles anyway!

  10. I had never heard of reusable cotton rounds – and have always been conscious about the buying cotton pads for eye make up removal and such. I think it’s totally worth the try. Thank you for sharing.

  11. Great idea, Allie! You’re helping the environment and supporting an Artisan at the same time. To me, that’s ideal. I am going to purchase these also.


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